Peeling Korn and Eating Zombie Flesh
ARROWHEAD POND OF ANAHEIM
FRIDAY, APRIL 16
Ah, Korn, the Huntington Beach-via-Bakersfield leaders of the screecho-rock school (also known as "new metal," which is just old metal with a slice of hip-hop and minus the hair spray).
Okay, look: we won't spend a lot of time ragging on Korn. It's just too easy, and besides, Korn doesn't make music for critics, anyway. Angry, pent-up teenage boys-that's who Korn speaks to. That's where their big payday is. Big, big payday-all of 'em drive fancy cars. Mercedes. Beemers. They got the life, awrighty.
But listen to what head shrieker/ paid Puma endorser Jonathan Davis has to say about their latest radio hit, "Freak on a Leash." "That's my song that rails out against the music industry," he said. "It's about how I feel like I'm a fuckin' prostitute. Like I'm this freak paraded around, but I got corporate America fuckin' making all the money while it's fuckin' taking a part of me."
Tsk! Fuckin' poor, poor fuckin' millionaire fuckin' rock star. You do feel sorry for him, don't you? Um . . . don't you?
See? Too easy.
Okay. So Korn have a few issues. It's hard being fabulously wealthy and famous, y'know. About "Got the Life," Davis said: "It's about how everything's always handed to me, how I look up to God and say I don't want this anymore. . . . I love being a rock star; I love all that it entails. But I hate all the pressure and all the bullshit that's involved."
Kids, kids, kids! Our advice: if success hurts that bad, don't whine about it-quit! It's gotta be hard having shoes lobbed at your head during shows-which is what happened on Friday-and they probably aren't even the ones you're plugging! And how was the rest of the gig? About what you'd expect from a metal show, new/old distinctions be damned: choreographed skull-shaking reminiscent of that Bon Jovi/Skid Row concert we saw at the Great Western Forum in 1989 that we'll never confess to attending. Head banging. Girlie titty flashing. Guitar noodling. The bagpipe solo was quite the shit, though, and the hip-hop touches were lovely and not overblown. But we had a hard time separating the serious from the self-parody (hardcore snatches of "This Old Man?" As fraught with hilarity as Limp Bizkit's "Faith" cover). Ah, well-teenage-boy rage will always need an outlet, and right now, Korn just happens to be it. Hey, if we were in high school these days and had a C+ average, we'd probably be into Korn, too. But we'd rather put on our old Iron Maiden and Dio LPs and reminisce, like the old farts we've grown into-just like Korn fans will around 2015.
As mediocre as Korn were, Rob Zombie rooled, dood. We're talkin' serious-ass white-hot pyro! Charles Manson cameo appearances! Giant walking fetuses! Live exorcisms! Monster robots run amok! Half-nekkid, crotch-grabbing, whip-snapping go-go dancers (but-come on-buxom dominatrixes groveling over a guy as cadaver-colon ug-lee as Rob Zombie?)! Men in cloaks and hoods, just like in Spinal Tap! And-especially heartwarming to see in the House That Eisner/Disney Built-Zombie T-shirts that read, "100% HARDCORE FLESH-EATING BLOOD-DRINKING LIFE-SUCKING ZOMBIE MOTHERFUCKER," just like ones we could've sworn we once saw on sale in the Trinity Broadcasting Network gift shop! Oh, and honestly, some really great rawkenroooooll! Zombie was a fun-filled hoot, we tell you. That's because his show works much better than that of his main competition for the horror-rock buck, Marilyn Manson, who takes things way too seriously. The difference is that Zombie knows he's a live-action comic-book character and can play along with it, while Manson is just too Goth to even think about cracking a smile. Watching Zombie was like watching Satan direct The Glory of Christmas. It really was.
THE ROOF OF SOME DOWNTOWN LONG BEACH BUILDING
SUNDAY, APRIL 18
Was it the hot and steamy environment we found ourselves in? Was it the free beer and Mexican food we were privy to? Was it the Rob Zombie-esque rumbling noises of the Long Beach Grand Prix 16 long floors below us? Naaah. What most made us feel like the world was revolving at all the right angles was Delta Nove-yeah, another one of those ridiculously juicy LBC bands. They're a groove combo, basically, with trumpets, saxes, congas, steel drums (who isn't a sucker for steel drums?), and mounds of funk, jazz and Latin riffs that make you wanna wiggle all your naughtiest body parts, which we would have done had we not been so paralyzed with fear every time we glanced over the building's ledge (so that's what puke looks like after it falls from several hundred feet in the air!). Next time, we'll catch them at sea level.
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